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Baker's Dozen

Bear Necessities: Gold Panda's Favourite Albums
John Freeman , June 1st, 2016 08:29

Following the release of his third album, Good Luck And Do Your Best, Derwin talks to John Freeman about the 13 albums, from Michael Jackson to the Akira soundtrack, that helped shape his Gold Panda project


Alternative TV – The Image Has Cracked
This is band with a guy called Mark Perry who used to write the Sniffin' Glue fanzine for the UK punk scene in the '70s. I think with an issue of the magazine there was a flexi disc containing a track called 'Love Lies Limp', which was about him not being able to have an relationship or get an erection, because he was disgusted that everyone was sleeping with each other.

I love the song, which is on the extended version of the album The Image Has Cracked. Jools Holland plays synthesizer on the album and I think that most of the tracks were recorded in a live venue with a typical punk crowd, who are screaming "get off" at the band. And, of course, the band don't care.

Again, the album has the end of the world feel. There is one part where punk is supposed to be this amazing thing about freedom, rebellion and free speech, and on the first track that is a live recording, they have a soapbox on the stage and the crowd can come up and say whatever they like while the band plays a backing track. People come on stage and say stupid stuff and then there is a fight. I think that basically summed up what Perry thought about punk – in that it was just a fucking waste of time and a fucking mess. However, listening to him sing, I just wanted to be him. If I were in a band, I would want to sing like Mark Perry from Alternative TV. I loved his strong South London accent and the way he delivered his words more as poetry and recitals of stories. It is a great album.

I have listened to it so often that it is hard to describe the music – I guess it is more post-punk than punk. It was released in 1978 but I didn't discover it until my twenties. I liked it because I cannot play any instruments and I don't think they could either, and I loved that it was rebellious and anti-everything, but it had these great melodic moments. Also, one track has a random sample of a voice-over from a documentary and I found stuff like that very inspiring – I was getting into Warp records at the time.